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April 23, 2014

D.C. Circuit Refuses To Enforce Board’s Bargaining Order, Finds Lawful Impasse

The D.C. Circuit Court on Tuesday reversed a decision by the NLRB which had found that Erie Brush & Manufacturing Corp. had unlawfully declared impasse and refused to bargain with SEIU. The D.C. Circuit found that while the employer and the union were only in disagreement on two issues – union security and arbitration of grievances – this was enough to put the parties at impasse, noting that “impasse on a single critical issue can create an impasse on the entire agreement.”  The Court held that the fact that the union had mentioned mediation as a possibility was not enough to support a finding of no impasse, quoting the NLRB dissent – “the mere invocation of mediation does not somehow magically ward off a deadlock.”  Therefore, the employer did not violate the law by refusing to bargain with the union.

The case is Erie Brush & Manufacturing Corp. v. NLRB, No. 11-1337 (D.C. Cir. Nov. 27, 2012), available on the D.C. Circuit’s website here.

© 2014 BARNES & THORNBURG LLP

About the Author

Christine Holst, Labor and Employment Attorney, Barnes Thornburg, Law firm
Associate

Christine Holst is an associate in the Grand Rapids office of Barnes & Thornburg and is a member of the firm’s Labor and Employment Law Department. She focuses her practice on general labor and employment matters and defense of Title VII, ADEA, and other employment discrimination cases.

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